favorite ingredients salad: herbed wild rice & quinoa with avocados, heirloom tomatoes, & strawberries

this delicious salad came about one day when inspired by reading Marcus Samuelson’s*  book “Yes, Chef!” (highly recommend it) i decided to be more courageous than usual and combine several of my favorite ingredients (in a slightly calculated yet random way) in a salad bowl, toss them together, cross my fingers, and hope for the best: a delicious salad that somehow tasted like it was absolutely meant to be: chewy (wild rice), slightly zesty (in a fresh citrus sort of a way), surprisingly creamy (thanks to the just ripe avocados), with hints of sweetness (ripe strawberries), spicy enough (red pepper flakes), super fresh, moderately “ethnic“(cumin!), and pretty good for you. add or subtract what you like, create your own favorite ingredients salad, or give this one a try…i think you might just like it!  
*below/right, a (not so attractive) picture of me with MS taken at his Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem!

favorite salad ingredients (4 servings or so):
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup wild rice (cook in ligtly salted water until just tender)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (cooked in lightly salted water)
  • 2 just ripe avocados, sliced
  • 1-2 large heirloom tomato, sliced
  • 10-12 ripe organic strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • small bunch of fresh mint, shredded (about 1/4 cup)
  • small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • juice of 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon (2 tbs)
  • 3-4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • (whisk together)
(Visited 61 times, 1 visits today)

spicy brown rice salad with heirloom tomatoes, lentils, and cilantro

when i cook brown rice, which is rather often-i make a little extra and refrigerate or freeze a few portions (stored flat in ziploc bags) for when i need to put a quick meal together on a busy day. the same thing goes for lentils, although the small green ones i prefer don’t really take too long to cook. this salad came together very easily on a busy day recently thanks to my reliable stash of cooked frozen grains! while the rice and lentils were defrosting, i chopped up a couple of ripe heirloom tomatoes (local ones still abundantly available in southern california) and a small bunch of organic cilantro. everything was combined together in a bowl with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes (cayenne pepper), and a generous dash of home made shallot-lime dressing. believe me-this (good for you) salad tastes even better than it looks, and delivers great texture along with fresh and spicy flavors. yumyumyum.

ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup cooked small green or beluga lentils
  • 2 large ripe heirloom (or not) tomatoes, finely cubed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped organic cilantro
  • 1-2 tsp red cayenne pepper flakes (spicy)
lime-shallot dressing:
  • 2 tbs fresh lime juice (juice of 1 large lime)
  • 3-4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tsp finely minced shallot (or substitute 2 tbs sliced green onions or chives)
(Visited 99 times, 1 visits today)